I’ve become Pavlov’s Dog

Anyone who has taken a first year psychology course or knows their cultural trivia has heard of the experiment of Pavlov’s dog and classical conditioning. The way it went was this (pulled from our good friends at wikipedia):

The experiment involved the salivary conditioning of Pavlov’s dogs. During his research on the physiology of digestion in dogs, Pavlov noticed that, rather than simply salivating in the presence of meat powder (an innate response to food that he called the unconditioned response), the dogs began to salivate in the presence of the lab technician who normally fed them. Pavlov called these psychic secretions. From this observation he predicted that, if a particular stimulus in the dog’s surroundings were present when the dog was presented with meat powder, then this stimulus would become associated with food and cause salivation on its own. In his initial experiment, Pavlov used a metronome to call the dogs to their food and, after a few repetitions, the dogs started to salivate in response to the metronome. Thus, a neutral stimulus (metronome) became a conditioned stimulus (CS) as a result of consistent pairing with the unconditioned stimulus (US – meat powder in this example). Pavlov referred to this learned relationship as a conditional reflex (now called conditioned response).

It’s all very fascinating, trust me. But we usually see this referenced in popular culture as the idea that a dog can be conditioned to salivate at the mouth by the mere ringing of a bell.

So how do I compare to these dogs? Well I’m glad you asked… let me ramble a bit, it’ll become clear at the end.

This blog is supposed to be about life in Surrey, but surprisingly, life in Surrey is not nearly as fun as life in Italy.

But there is one thing I have learned about Surrey. Or not so much learned, but have realized, and that is that the rumours are true. People here love their marijuana. I mean they looooooooove their pot. Everywhere I go I smell the aroma of pot, almost like skunk, but not as sweet.

At first it was my neighbour and his nightly tradition of lighting up a joint, this generally was done right as we were eating dinner out on the patio above his smoking area. What was initially something done maybe once or twice an evening became a daily and nightly tradition, I swear the guy does it many, many, many times a day. As I go for walks with the dog, I notice it’s common all over the neighborhood. What I’ve also noticed is that because initially the smell was associated with dinner, I fear that I’ve begun to think it’s dinner time when I smell pot, which is basically any time of day. Sigh, not cool.

To be honest, I have no problem with pot. Smoke it, whatever, but I don’t understand how people get things done while on it. Every time I’ve done it I’ve only been lethargic, brilliant and lazy. I don’t find it an attractive quality in a person to be getting high all the time, nor is it grounds for inclusion into the “cool” club (we have far stricter policies on that you see). Frankly I believe the government should just legalize it and tax the shit out of it, not only will people think twice about smoking it, but the mere idea of it being legal will make so many people (especially teens) drop the bud because it no longer makes them a “rebel.” Also, marijuana is a huge industry here in BC and the faster we can include it in our provincial revenue, the faster we could use that to pay of other stupid endeavors we have going on, like the olympics or translink.

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